The Computer Savvy Perspective – How Scammers Try To Scam You And What You Can Do To Avoid It (May 2013)

Dear Readers,

This months Computer Savvy Perspective will focusing on a very frequent common topic. Of which we’ve have received a boat load of comments and e-mails about over the years. And that topic would be the ever present online scam. So in one form or another. We have received comments and or e-mails ranging from “I’ve just been scammed” to “Why do scammer do what they do ?”. So this feature will focus a bit on both. The how scam works ? and how to avoid being scammed ?

Also important to note this will be a dual authored feature. My guest co-author for this feature will be Remy “Se7en”. Who is also in charge of both our scam mail databases and lead investigator and verification specialist. When it comes to scam mail also referred to as a “phishing attack”.

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Name Or Type Of Scam: Foreign Bank Scam

Most Common Method Of Conveyance: E-mail, Snail Mail and Phone Services

Explanation Of Scam: This scam is were someone tells you there is a lot of money in a foreign account. Which you have to sign for or transfer it to your own bank account. Often companies like Western Union are used to conduct this type of scam.

Main Motive Of This Scam: To steal your bank info or to steal your so called needed deposit. On the scammers end it may also be to launder money or avoid taxes or even dodge bank fees.

Other Common Tricks Scammers Use To Get You Hooked: Scammers using this type of scam. Tend to try to prey on a persons emotions such as sadness and grief saying that someone has died or there has been a real bad accident or natural disaster. Don’t be fooled even if they give you a real news link. Such as CNN or BBC. They have been known to sometimes use real news stories to trick people into giving them your money or bank info.

How To Avoid This Type Of Scam: Never give out any financial information regardless of how trivial it may seem. Never agree to anything via mail or over the phone. When in doubt go to your main financial institute to verify and talk to someone in person. I recommend the bank manager. Avoid using ANY TYPE OF ONLINE BANKING. While doing your verification. As your computer, tablet or smart phone may already be compromised.

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Name Or Type Of Scam: Lottery Scam (also known as The Foreign Lottery Scam)

Most Common Method Of Conveyance: E-mail, Phone Services and even Snail Mail

Explanation Of Scam: This scam is super common and almost always is delivered via e-mail. But I have seen it cross over to both phone services and regular mail (AKA. Snail Mail). The person or persons will tell you have won some money it won’t be any sane number like $20 USD. It will be OVER inflated often into the millions. Depends on the e-mail template or scam they are trying to pull off and how greedy they are.

Main Motive Of This Scam: They want you to reply to there e-mail template (also known as a ballot) with a bunch of personal information about yourself in an attempt to trick you into thinking you won a large sum of money. Even thou you PROBABLY did not even enter any lottery or contest.

The main reason for this can be anywhere from getting your e-mail address and phone number for a call list. Or just to get your home mailing address to run a scam or to steal your belonging.

How To Avoid This Type Of Scam: Never give out any personal or financial information regardless of how trivial it may seem. Never agree to anything via mail or over the phone. Nor should you click on any links or copy and paste any links in to your address bar (AKA Url bar). When in doubt do heavy research and always go to the SO CALLED lottery website and speak to someone. If you have already clicked on any link in said e-mail. Then your computer, tablet or smart phone may already be compromised.

If you have not entered the lottery via physical means. Such as buying a lottery ticket from a legit vendor. Or filling out a ballot or entering a code from a product you bought. Then just ignore the e-mail. As you can’t win if you have not entered.

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Name Or Type Of Scam: This is a Promotion Scam

Most Common Method Of Conveyance: E-mail, Regular Mail

Explanation Of Scam: This scam is where a store or person claims their from a good company like DELL, MSN, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and so on and claim you won something normally money and other times they offer such as prizes like computers, Mp3 players, TVs and so on.

Main Motive Of This Scam: The reason for this scam is to get background information for calling lists, home addresses, or just to play with people.

How To Avoid This Type Of Scam: If you have not entered a contest or promotion by physical means. Such as filling out a ballot or entering a code from a product you bought. Then just ignore the e-mail or junk then block the e-mail address. As you can’t win if you have not entered.

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Name Or Type Of Scam: PayPal Scam (also known as The Paypal Invoice Scam)

Most Common Method Of Conveyance: E-mail or Infected Link Or Cloned Website Log-in Page

Explanation Of Scam (PayPal Scam): This scam is mostly done threw e-mail. Where you’ll receive an e-mail with an embedded link said link will bring you to a cloned log-in page. Which will then prompted you to enter your username and password. At which time they will steal log-in info. Then soon there after. They will access your account and steal your funds)

Explanation Of Scam (PayPal Invoice Scam): This scam is where a bunch of blanket e-mails are sent out that look like a legit Paypal invoice. But it is missing the name you registered with.

Meaning it just says DEAR PAYPAL MEMBER, instead of Dear John Doe. The current version I have been getting is an invoice for an APPLE i-Pod Touch 16gb.

The e-mail  gives you all the information you’d expect. But only I never made that purchase. So then IF YOU DID NOT MAKE THIS PURCHASE. Please press DISPUTE TRANSACTION LINK (Encrypted).

Main Motive Of This Scam: To steal your money, identity and other such financial or personal details.

How To Avoid This Type Of Scam: Never click on any links or reply to any Paypal branded e-mails. As Paypal does not e-mail people. They will phone you with supporting details to prove that they are indeed legit. Also when in doubt log-in to your Paypal account to verify any facts in said e-mail. By clearing your cookies and internet cache then mainly entering your username and password. I recommend using CCleaner to do the internet cookie and cache cleaning. As it seems to be the most effective and its free and easy to use.

**Important Side Note: This scam is very hard to bounce back with no money lost. Or at least having to to change all your information to prevent further damage.

**To view my list of scammers e-mail address press on the following link: Paypal Scam Mail List

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Name Or Type Of Scam: Hotmail/Outlook Scam

Most Common Method Of Conveyance: E-mail

Explanation Of Scam: This scam is super common. There seems to be a new round of e-mails nearly every day some have subject lines such as “re-activate your account or reply to this e-mail or HOTMAIL will terminate your account.

Main Motive Of This Scam: The reason for this scam is to hijack your account to gain background information for calling lists, home addresses, or just to play with people.

How To Avoid This Type Of Scam: Never click on any links or reply to any Hotmail / Outlook / MSN or Microsoft branded e-mails. As  Hotmail / Outlook/ MSN or Microsoft does not e-mail people. They will just lock or block your account. Until you can provide them with supporting details to prove that you are indeed the legit user of that e-mail account.

Also when in doubt log-in to your Hotmail/Outlook account to verify any facts in said e-mail. By clearing your cookies and internet cache then mainly entering your username and password. I recommend using CCleaner to do the internet cookie and cache cleaning. As it seems to be the most effective and its free and easy to use.

I have never received a legit e-mail of this type. They are sometimes very convincing and even have logos and graphics of Hotmail and or Windows Live. If you need more help please refer to the following link: Hotmail Scam Mail List

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Written By: Danny - (CSW) Senior Editor + (CSW) Editor-In-Chief RemySe7en

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